We are giving it a new name: the K-Pop Army Camps, which is somewhat reminiscent of the Elvis Presley army movies, in which he dances in the camps while wearing an army uniform but is surrounded by attractive women.
It is a never-ending debate in South Korea where men who come of age between 18 to 28 years old have to go through compulsory military service and even K-Pop celebrities, who have contributed much to the nation are not spared the hardship and have to go through it although there is debate about whether it is necessary.
If these military pieces of training are not exactly K-Pop army camps, that is because the Korean stars are surely not in the company of pretty ladies and they are not going there to dance.
Those who join the army will serve a period of 21 months while the South Korean navy and air force take 23 and 24 months respectively.
BTS recently enlisted for military service while it was said that they might be exempted. Their label BigHit Music announced that Jin will be the first from BTS to join the Korean military. They added that BTS will resume as a group in 2025 after serving in the army.
Here are 5 celebrities who have done military service and 5 who did not.
5 celebrities who saw the army camps in South Korea
This Crash Landing On You actor served in the Marine Corps from 2011 to 2012. He was praised as an ‘exemplary soldier’. He then became a frontline fighter at Baengnyeong Island.
In 2010 this was an extremely sensitive geo-political location and was reportedly the site of armed engagement between North and South Korea. Upon completion of his service, Hyun Bin made a comeback with The Fatal Encounter in 2014 and then Hyde, Jekyll, Me the next year.
From 2021 to 2022, Ricky served in the military. He is the lead dancer of K-pop band Teen Top as well as a singer and actor. It was reported that he applied for military enlistment in 2020 and was accepted as part of the military band. However, he only formally enlisted for military service the following year. He joined the band as planned following his complement of basic conscription training. Looks like army camps was good for him.
Lee Jong Suk
From 2019 to 2021, Lee Jong Suk enlisted as a public service worker due to an injured ligament. The Pinocchio actor could not serve as a working soldier but he did his part diligently. Once it was completed, Lee posted two photos on Instagram announcing his comeback from the army camps and military service.
Lee Min Ho
Lee Min Ho was part of the army from 2017 and 2019. He had to delay his conscription a few times due to injuries he suffered during car crashes in 2006 and 2011. It did not stop the actor and he became one of the most acclaimed celebrities with a good military background.
The King: Eternal Monarch star started training at the Korea Army Training in Nonsan, South Chungcheong Province in March 2018. He was posted in the public service a month later where he was discharged in April the following year.
Kim Soo Hyun
From 2017 to 2019, Kim Soo Hyun was part of the South Korea military. He had to delay his conscription as he was deemed unfit due to a childhood heart disease. Initially he was posted in public services instead of active duty as he had undergone heart surgery. Kim was determined to serve the country and had taken re-examinations.
At the age of 29 he finally got selected for conscription. Kim was placed in a military camp in Paju in Gyeonggi Province.
He was then posted in the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion where he became a Sergeant. Such was his service that Kim won the special warrior title before being discharged.
5 celebrities who did not do military service in South Korea military service
Jung Woo Sung
To take part in army duty, prospective trainees have to meet academic requirements. Korea Herald reported that people were supposed to hold a high school diploma to be enlisted in the army until 2020. Actor Jung Woo Sung did not have the academic background to enlist in the army, according to Koreaboo. Jung, 48 dropped out of high school due to hard circumstances.
Park Hae Jin
Park did not serve his two-year military duty in 2004. In 2010 his lawyers said that he was exempted due to his struggles with depression and social phobia, as reported by Soompi. Furthermore, the 38-year-old actor faced an investigation for possibly shirking the military draft in 2010.
As per South Korean military service law, those suffering from certain mental illnesses, who have received treatment for six months or have been hospitalised for over a month are exempt from army duty, as reported by Soompi.
Simon Dominic (Jung Ki-suck)
Simon Dominic damaged his left eye in a childhood accident and military training requires having good eyesight. The rapper, who is part of Jay Park’s label AOMG could not join the army due to his injury.
According to Chosun newspaper, the 37-year-old reportedly damaged the retina in his left eye in a childhood accident.
According to Koreaboo, he opened up about the accident in his song Who You?, singing “I’m not the same person any more” and “I was exempt after losing the sight in my left eye”.
Jo Jung-suk of Hospital Playlist fame was exempt from military duty due to family circumstances. Based on a report by AllKpop, the 40-year-old had to care and provide for his mother after losing his father at a young age. He also left university and entered the showbiz industry to earn more money.
Yoo Ah-in (Uhm Hong-sik)
In 2015, Yoo Ah-in was diagnosed with bone tumour. The 35-year-old also ruptured his shoulder muscle while filming two action films Tough as Iron and Venetian in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
Read More News: